Images of the Taliban’s first public appearance in Afghanistan in 1996, specifically in September after storming the United Nations headquarters in capital Kabul, are still alive in the minds of the Afghan people.
Afghans still remember the movement’s arrest of former President, Mohammad Najibullah, his torture, abuse and subsequent killing.
The members of the movement posed with the late president’s remains and hanged him in a lamppost near the Presidential Palace in Kabul for several days.
They refused to bury him. They then had to hand the remains of the late president over to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
With the second rise of the Taliban, the movement also fell into a state of contradiction between the slogans of granting safety to the leaders of the regime of former President, Ashraf Ghani, especially the military, and pursuing and abusing them to this day.
Two years of abuse
During the two years of the Taliban’s second rule of Afghanistan since August 2021, the movement committed many crimes against military personnel and leaders of the former regime, whom the movement, before coming to power, announced an amnesty for, and then allowed them to participate in political life. Some of the members of the former regime considered this a trap set by the movement for them, and soon their expectations materialized.
The Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan revealed in a report published to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the Taliban’s coming to power, the registration of 800 cases of human rights violations by the Taliban, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, torture and ill-treatment against former security forces and government officials in the former regime.
The report showed that there were more than 220 cases of extrajudicial killings of former soldiers by the Taliban in 34 provinces, mostly in Kabul, Kandahar and Balkh, in addition to dozens of cases of enforced disappearance and 424 cases of arbitrary detention against former military personnel and officials.
The report included some names, including of women, such as Alia Azizi, the head of Herat women’s prison, confirming that she disappeared from her place of work on October 2, 2021.
The report pointed out that most of the former regime’s military detainees are denied access to their relatives or lawyers.
The Taliban replied to the UN report by objecting, as Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the movement, said this report is unfounded.
The UN, he said, tries to smear the Taliban.
Despite the Taliban’s denial of the UN report, the reality confirms the movement’s involvement in many cases of human rights violations against former officials and military personnel, which sparked outrage among citizens, including a former interior ministry officer who was taken by the movement to a deserted place.
Asian affairs specialist, Mohamed Abdel Razeq, said the Taliban was not expected to behave with former regime officials, especially military ones, in a different way.
“What it does against them is not surprising,” he told The Reference.
“The movement looks with suspicion at everyone who belongs to the former regime,” he added.